Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Creation Museum

The Creation Museum, near Cincinnati, is a large facility with petting zoo, gardens, and an exhibit hall and planetarium.  It is a favorite destination of home schooling groups and students from Christian schools. To see everything you should plan to spend the day. Visit the official website for current news on events. The staff are friendly and helpful and I especially enjoyed the petting zoo.

Sheep shearing at the petting zoo
The Museum is committed to young-earth creationism. As a Biblical anthropologist I found the scheme forced. The exhibits are well constructed but often portray a picture contrary to what the Bible actually says about Abraham's ancestors going back to Eden. The scheme seems unaware of what the Bible tells us about the Afro-asiatic Dominion, the flood of Noah's time and Abraham's kingdom-building ancestors, and claims to represent the only biblical view of creation and the flood. People who believe that the earth is only 6000 years old, based on Ussher's (flawed) dating, will enjoy it more than those who accept that the earth is about 4 billion years old.

Dinosaurs and humans are shown co-existing. The dating assumes that God created things to appear old. I found no explanation for why God would do this and find none in the Bible either. The scheme assumes the accuracy of Bishop Usher's dating for the earth based on the age spans assigned to the patriarchs from Adam to Abraham. It assumes that the people listed in Genesis 4 and 5 are the first humans on the surface of the earth, a claim that Scripture does not support.

The Museum is an example of what happens in attempts to force concordance between Genesis and earth science. This is called concordism. John H. Walton, Old Testament professor at Wheaton College, points out the danger of such an approach.  He has written: "If we accept Genesis 1 as ancient cosmology, then we need to interpret it as ancient cosmology rather than translate it into modern cosmology. If we try to turn it into modern cosmology, we are making the text say something that it never said. It is not just a case of adding meaning (as more information has become available) it is a case of changing meaning. Since we view the text as authoritative, it is a dangerous thing to change the meaning of the text into something it never intended to say." (From here).

The Creation Museum is located 7 miles west of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (about a 30-minute drive from downtown Cincinnati).  For tickets call 1-888-582-4253, ext. 376.  Ticket Information (not including tax):

• Adult (13-59 yrs) $21.95
• Senior (60 yrs up) $16.95
• Children (5-12 yrs) $11.95
• Children (under 5 yrs) Free
• Planetarium (with admission) $7.00

2-Day Passes are available

Related Reading:  YEC Dogma is NOT BiblicalFalse Assumption #1 of Young Earth Creationists; False Assumption #2 of Young Earth Creationists; Between Biblical Literalism and Biblical Illiteracy; Kentucky to Get Noah's Ark Theme Park


Sandra McColl said...

"Dinosaurs and humans are shown co-existing."

Who is shown as eating whom?

Alice C. Linsley said...

The dinosaurs probably preferred smaller creatures and fresh green plants. Those early humans looked really tough! :)

The Archer of the Forest said...

I've been there, and it is truly a bizarre place. The exhibits are well done, and it is not nearly a chintzy as you would think if you had never been there. However, there was absolutely nothing to clue you in to the fact that some of what they had to say of, shall we say, suspicious science, or that you could be a Christian and not be a "6000 year old Earther."

It some ways, it reminded me of the Richard Nixon presidentail library and museum out in California. A lot of good exhibits and interesting stuff up to a point, but no mention is ever made of anything after 1972. Watergate is conspicuously absent.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Archer, it was evident that someone has put a good deal of money and effort into the museum and the staff were friendly. They were also clueless about significant findings in anthropology and linguistics that support the Biblical record.

You are right about the absence of any suggestion that those who hold to a more scientific view might be regarded as right-believing Christians. It's 100% young earth creationism and as such distorts what the Bible actually says.